Real Madrid: Zidane's new-look LaLiga giants get started
Following a club-record transfer-window spend of €298m (so far), Zinedine Zidane's fresh Real Madrid project gets underway this week.
This morning, the curtain goes up on Zinedine Zidane's new-look Real Madrid, as Los Blancos return from their summer holidays out to bounce back from a 2018/19 season in which their Club World Cup win was the only bright spot in an otherwise barren campaign that yielded no major trophies, and has forced the LaLiga club into their most expensive ever rebuild. In all, Madrid have shelled out 298 million euros (plus add-ons) on five new recruits, headlined by Eden Hazard.
Five Real Madrid signings may yet be joined by sixth
Hazard today begins to realise not one, but two dreams: playing for Madrid, and working under Zidane, his childhood idol. The Belgian, who will be the club's record signing once the variables tacked on to his initial 100m-euro transfer fee kick in, arrives at the Bernabéu together with Rodrygo Goes (40m), Éder Militao (50m), Luka Jovic (60m) and Ferland Mendy (48m plus five in add-ons).
As things stand, that's the extent of the revamp that Zidane had repeatedly stressed was on the way after answering Madrid's SOS in March, beginning a second stint in charge which has, so far, been one to forget. One more transfer-market foray is expected, though, with Zizou eager for Florentino Pérez to bring in Paul Pogba; however, the club president faces a battle to prise the Frenchman from Manchester United.
Zidane to fly to Canada with group of 28 players
To begin with, Zidane will fly out to Montreal, the first stop on Madrid's pre-season tour of Canada and the United States, with a group of 28 at his disposal: 24 from the first team and a further four from Castilla, including exciting Japanese prospect Takefusa Kubo. On Sunday, the club could not confirm whether all 28 would be in on the first day back, although the players will do little more than undertake medical examinations anyway. Then, on Tuesday at 14:00, they set off for North America.
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Madrid's travelling party is to include a few players whose futures are shrouded in uncertainty, such as Keylor Navas, Gareth Bale and Lucas Vázquez. Meanwhile, with the exception of Kubo and Jovic, those involved in the Copa América (Casemiro, Militao, Federico Valverde and James Rodríguez, who is to leave the club) and the European Under-21 Championship (Dani Ceballos and Jesús Vallejo) will not be on the plane. Kubo and Jovic have both cut their holidays short, as have Álvaro Odriozola, Brahim Díaz, Rodrygo and Nacho Fernández, who could all already be seen at Los Blancos' Valdebebas training ground last week.
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